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Old 08-01-2003, 01:46 PM   #1
DeadDireWolf
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Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: Mandrake 9.1
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sound help please


Help please. I'm a veteran Windows user who has become disgusted with MS and wants to learn Linux. However, I'm having trouble with what I would consider are elementary tasks. It took me forever to update my nvidia driver and now I'm trying to get my sound to work. I'm soooo frustrated I could throw the whole thing out the window.

I'm using Mandrake 9.1 and KDE. I have Creative Labs Inspire 5.1 5200 speakers and a on-board C Media CM8738 chip. After installation the sound worked however nothing was coming out of the center channel. I poked around on the net and saw that some people fixed the problem by install Open Source Sound. I downloaded it and installed it and ran the audio test. It worked.

However, I read that OSS and KDE conflict unless you load KDE second. Well, I didn't know how to 'undo' the installation and now, sure to its word, when I boot up i get a message saying something couldn't be found and the sound doesn't work. How do I get OSS to work with KDE, change the configuration back to default, or whatever.

Someone help me please. I'm not only a newbie, but I feel like a complete fool because I can't even install drivers and troubleshoot them. I want to use Linux over Windows, I hear so many good things but it's driving me mad trying to use, work and understand it.

 
Old 08-01-2003, 02:16 PM   #2
Pcghost
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I was under the impression that OSS support is compiled into the kernel and not so much a factor of KDE support. I could be wrong but the last kernel rebuild I did the other day (2.4.21) had a section under sound for OSS support. You may need to recompile the support and not mess with KDE until the kernel supports the sound system, then tweak KDE's settings to match it. Just a thought...
 
Old 08-01-2003, 02:22 PM   #3
Cooner
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Does it give you the path to where it is looking?
If it does go there and see if it exists.
If not
run updatedb
then
run locate <what it is looking for>
Does it exsist
Yes - is it in your root path? echo $PATH$ from root
No - Go find it
just a start
 
Old 08-01-2003, 03:07 PM   #4
Corin
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I do not understand why you want to go back to the stoneage OSS
sound drivers.

Stick with ALSA, and it there is a problem, you should get in touch
with the ALSA developers.

http://www.alsa-project.org

When you have fired up alsamixer, do you see a CENTER ouput channel?

If so, have you ensured that the center ouput is unmuted and the volume turned up?
 
Old 08-01-2003, 03:37 PM   #5
DeadDireWolf
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Perhaps I didn't illustrate my point clearly Corin.

1. I have no idea what I am doing (concerning linux).

2. I wouldn't know what's better, I have no opinion on any of it (yet).

I'd love to stick with ALSA, if that's the default or whatever. I don't know that OSS is stone age compare to ALSA (but I do now). I don't know the terminology. I don't know what anything is, let alone what it does. I don't know where anything is. Essentially I don't know squat. I've used MS products for 20 nearly twenty years and I want to be rid of Microsoft forever (except for playing games )

I'm so new to Linux I feel like a complete moron. I've started reading to learn everything i can but I haven't even reached a basic understanding of Linux yet. I'm still in the ignorant stage.


I'm going to try what Cooner suggested and go from there. I just want to get back to what the default sound set up was and go from there. But I don't know what files were modified, where they are, or how to get them back to the way they were. After that, then i'll do what corin suggested.

Complete and utter IGNORANT

- that was very painful to say btw
 
Old 08-01-2003, 04:02 PM   #6
Corin
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Hey, when I started using Unix, I was a complete and ignorant know nothing too. We all have to start from the sample place so there is no shame in not knowing anything, provided you are prepared to learn (which you ovbviously are prepared to do).

But I ask that you would at least try issuing the command in your X terminal emulator (konsole or whatever in your X session using KDE)

alsamixer

and see if the program runs in your terminal emulator window.

The look for a bar for the CENTER channel and see if that is muted (M) and what the volume level is set to.

To move around you just use the arrow keys <- and -> M to mute or unmute, and the arrow keys UP and DOWN to change the volume level.

Give this a try and we will at least know if you have ALSA sound support, and if so, if it is just a very simple fix to your problem.

Last edited by Corin; 08-01-2003 at 04:14 PM.
 
Old 08-01-2003, 04:19 PM   #7
DeadDireWolf
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I'm not sure if I did it right or not.

I opened konsole and this is what I did:

[skinner@dhcppc2 skinner]$ alsamixer

alsamixer: function snd_ctl_open failed for default: No such file or directory
[skinner@dhcppc2 skinner]$

do I have to change to a certain directory to run alsamixer or can I run it from where I did?
 
Old 08-01-2003, 04:28 PM   #8
Corin
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Thanks for trying the command.

And no you do not have to be in a specific directory to run alsamixer.

What I am pretty sure it is saying is, you do not have the ALSA modules loaded, because it cannot open the default [sound] device.

So maybe for your system, the default sound drivers are the OSS modules, which would surprise me greatly since I would have expected Mandrake 9.1 (you are doing this on a Mandrake 9.1 system?) would be using ALSA by default.

Did you get any hard print documentation with Mandrake 9.1? I'm just wondering if you could do a quick check in the installation/user manual to see if it makes any mention of sound drivers?
 
Old 08-01-2003, 05:23 PM   #9
DeadDireWolf
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I'm nearly certain that my default drivers were ALSA. I remember seeing it there somewhere.

THe only reason I tried the OSS driver was because I read somewhere that the C media CM8738 chip had trouble working properly but was remedied by OSS . Looks like that was possibly incorrect. However, this is what happens when a novice goes messing around with things he shouldn't have. I should have looked here first but being new I didn't know this place existed.

I downloaded Mandrake from their website, so the only docs I have are whatever I can find on their site or in a readme somewhere....
 
Old 08-01-2003, 05:53 PM   #10
Corin
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Hey, again I have to say, if you don't go around messing with things and breaking them, then you never learn how things work or how to fix them. I'm not a Mandrake expert by any means, since I do not have a Mandrake system. However there is a system configuration tool something like drakeconfig or drax is there not, which you should learn to use, until you become more of an expert of getting your hands dirty with the files underneath.

Now using this configuration program it should be possible to delete your current sound scheme and re-install it. I'm not talking about re-installing the system, or even the sound module files themselves, just the sound configuration files.

So can you fire up "drax" (?) and go to a section marked sound?

My apologizes if this sounds like the blind leading the blind, but as I say, I am not familiar with Mandrake.

I should point however that despite different distributions having different configuration interfaces (Mandrake - drax, Suse -Yast) what they are actually changing under the hood, is all pretty much the same thing. Apart from possible differences in version revisions, ALSA on SuSE is the same as ALSA on Mandrake is the same as ALSA on RedHat etc.

Last edited by Corin; 08-01-2003 at 05:55 PM.
 
Old 08-01-2003, 06:43 PM   #11
DeadDireWolf
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I rebooted the machine to see the error and this is what it says:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sound server informational message:

error while intializing the sound driver.

device /dev/dsp can't be opened (no such device)

The sound server will conitnue using the null output device.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I looked in the /dev/dsp and it looks like it exists.

Also, Corin, there is the Mandrake Control Center (when loading it calls for /usr/sbin/drakcong) which has under the hardware section a "Hard Drake" selection.

I load that and it gives a display like Windows HardWare Manager.

I see the sound card but don't see anyway to delete it. They have a 'Configure Module' which prompts for a bunch of parameters and 'Run config tool' which, when ran, gives the error:

Unknown Driver -
Error: The "" driver for your sound card is unlisted.
 
Old 08-01-2003, 07:11 PM   #12
Corin
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Quote:
Originally posted by DeadDireWolf
device /dev/dsp can't be opened (no such device)
This means that no driver module has been loaded to enable the device.
This is not good news.

Quote:
The sound server will conitnue using the null output device.
This means that to prevent programs which emit sounds from getting stuck because they are always waiting for the buffer of the sound to get played out by the sound device to be emptied, the sounds are going to be sent to a bitbucket.

Quote:
I looked in the /dev/dsp and it looks like it exists.
Yes the device file will exist, but there is nothing connected to it. If you also look in /dev you will see /dev/hda /dev/hdb /dev/hdc etc

Now if you are using an IDE disk, then it will be referenced by /dev/hda, but the /dev/hda is just a pointer to the disk driver in the kernel.

Quote:

Unknown Driver - Error: The "" driver for your sound card is unlisted.
This is the worst news possible. It means that the version of ALSA which comes with Mandrake 9.1 has not been configured for your sound card because, presumably, it is not supported, or because it has failed to detect your soundcard (which is quite possible).

Can you do an

rpm -qa | egrep -i alsa

to see which version of the ALSA packages you have installed?

Now thankfully

http://www.alsa-project.ORG

has an excellent HOWTO on the CMI8738 sound chip at

http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-doc...&module=cmipci

Can you do a

$ locate snd-cmipci

on your system and see if if it finds a .o file under /lib/modules

If you do not have the slocate database facility setup, then you will have to poke around

/usr/lib/modules/Your_Kernel_Version/
and in a directory alsa I think directly under that.

Of course to save time you could just do

find /usr/lib/modules/Your_Kernel_Version/ -name snd-cmipci\*

obviously substituting your actual Kernel version number for Your_Kernel_Version.

If this file is present on your system, then you have an adequate ALSA installation and you can just follow the instrusctions at the URL above starting in the section

Setting up modprobe and kmod support

about half way down the page.

If you do not have ALSA installed on your system, then you are either going to have to install the rpms from your Mandrake ISOs or get even better since ALSA 9.6 is now out (very hot and fresh 2003-07-28), get the rpms from

http://www.rpmbone.NET

So the diagnosis is serious but the prognosis is good and treatment is possible!

One thing that you will learn about GNU/Linux from all of this, is that when it comes to device support, GNU/Linux is in a very fluid state always moving forward.
 
Old 08-03-2003, 01:50 PM   #13
DeadDireWolf
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Quote:
Originally posted by Corin

Can you do an

rpm -qa | egrep -i alsa

to see which version of the ALSA packages you have installed?
[skinner@dhcppc2 skinner]$ rpm -qa | egrep -i alsa
libalsa2-0.9.0-0.14rc7mdk
alsamixergui-0.9.0-0.6rc1_2mdk
libalsa-data-0.9.0-0.14rc7mdk
alsa-utils-0.9.0-0.8rc7mdk
Quote:

Can you do a

$ locate snd-cmipci

on your system and see if if it finds a .o file under /lib/modules
[skinner@dhcppc2 skinner]$ locate snd-cmipci
/lib/modules/2.4.21-0.13mdk/kernel/sound/pci/snd-cmipci.o.gz

Is this what you meant?

I'll try this now, and see what happens....Setting up modprobe and kmod support

Do I have to be logged as root?

Thanks very much for your help.

Last edited by DeadDireWolf; 08-03-2003 at 01:53 PM.
 
Old 08-03-2003, 02:24 PM   #14
Corin
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Is it normal under Mandrake 9.1 for your /lib/module files to be compressed in gz format?

Can you confirm that the other files under

/lib/modules/2.4.21-0.13mdk/kernel/sound/pci/

all end in .gz and maybe check some other directories below kernel as well?

Usually module files are not compressed, so this is different to what I would expect.

The other tests you did show that you do have ALSA user space programs installed and the fact that the snd-cmipci.o.gz file is there, indicates that you have potential kernel module support.

Could you also do an

rpm -qf /lib/modules/2.4.21-0.13mdk/kernel/sound/pci/snd-cmipci.o.gz

to satisfy my curiousity as to which package this belongs?

And for any system level configuration such as kernel module loading and sound configuration you do have to be logged in as user root (the unix equivalent of administrator).

Hopefully once you have completed the configuration by editing the file /etc/modules.conf as explained at the URL I posted above, you should then do a

# depmod -a

to update the /lib/modules modules.dep file which is a list of dependencies for kernel modules.

The next matter which needs to be addressed is how these modules (as specified in /etc/modules.conf) are loaded at boot time.

Do you have a file with a name of something like alsa or sound in /etc/init.d, or any references to loading sound modules in /etc/rcd/rc.sysinit or /etc/rc.d/rc.local or any other files lurking there?
 
Old 08-03-2003, 02:34 PM   #15
DeadDireWolf
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Well, that worked.

Many thanks buddy.

I inserted this:

# ALSA portion
alias char-major-116 snd
alias snd-card-0 snd-cmipci
# module options should go here

# OSS/Free portion
alias char-major-14 soundcore
alias sound-slot-0 snd-card-0

# card #1
alias sound-service-0-0 snd-mixer-oss
alias sound-service-0-1 snd-seq-oss
alias sound-service-0-3 snd-pcm-oss
alias sound-service-0-8 snd-seq-oss
alias sound-service-0-12 snd-pcm-oss

into the /etc/modules.conf and it works. However, Im not sure what parts of the above were responsible for it but it works.

Now, I'm back to the original problem that caused me to goof up the sound in the first place.

I have 5.1 speakers and a sound card capable of utilizing them however, I can't get center channel output. I'm re-reading some of the other posts to see if someone told me already.

Thanks again Corin.
 
  


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